credit: Derick Leony
A few days ago, I wrote about not having control over your life. So far, I would say the comments are running an even split: some agree, some think I'm off my rocker. So let's dive into this subject a little further. Let's talk about your thoughts.
IF you have any control over your life, then you almost surely would agree that your thoughts, your mind, your thinking plays a tremendous role in that control. Makes sense, right? To have control over my life, I must make choices. To make choices, I must think about the options. I must decide things, weigh the pros and cons, look at the possibilities.
Furthermore, there are my desires, my wishes, my intentions, my wants. As one of my favorite bloggers, Andrea from Empowered Soul said, you set an intention and then you create these things in your life (and with this part, I would agree to an extent). In a nutshell, you control the outcomes of your life with your intentions. Which, of course, are thoughts. Same with desires and wants. They are emotionally charged, to be sure, but they are thoughts nonetheless. So far, so good, right?
Okay, so if you have control over your life, that control must ultimately come from your thoughts and thinking. So, the obvious question that arises is: do you have control over your thoughts? Do you "choose" your thoughts? Do you decide what you will think?
Let me answer these questions via a dialog with my old buddy René (René Descartes that is—"I think, therefore I am.") Let's see what René has to say:
Tom: So, René, do you control your thoughts? Do you choose them?
René: Of course, you bone head. I'm the thinker of my thoughts. I choose what I'm going to think.
Tom: Okay, then what is your next thought going to be?
René: Um, well, I'm going to think about my dog, Pierre.
Tom: Great! So think about Pierre for a moment.
Tom: Tell me, René, is Pierre the only thing you thought about during the past few minutes?
René: Well, no, I did think about the jeune fille (woman) I saw last weekend. But I mostly spent the time thinking about Pierre.
Tom: Why did you think about your date from last weekend? Don't you have control over what you think?
René: I don't know. Sometimes thoughts just pop into my head. You know?
Tom: Yes, I do know. So, when I first asked you what your next thought is going to be, why did you choose to think about Pierre? What caused you to choose Pierre the dog over all the millions of things to think about?
René: I don't know. It just popped into my head to think about the dog.
Tom: Uh, René, so how much control do you have over your own thoughts?
René: Merde! I refuse to answer that question. Smart a$$!
Tom: Je t'aime, aussi, René.
I think the point should be clear. No control over your thoughts. None. If you will spend a few moments, sitting quietly, and pay attention to your thoughts, you will notice that they just arise. Sometimes there are patterns, such as when you think about the same thing for days or months at a time. At other times thoughts arise that are completely out in left field. But arise they do. And "you" have no control over them.
Given that you have no control over your thoughts and thinking, is it that hard to imagine that you have no control over your life? Let's save further discussion for the comments, as I know there will be plenty.
The next little essay I do will tackle the next questions to be asked, ones that I suspect you may have already guessed at: who is the "you" that would or would not have control? Who is the "thinker" of your thoughts? Who is the "you" that would possibly control your thoughts, life, actions, and mind?